What to wear to your prom night

I’ve been asked this question several times so I thought I’d collect all my thoughts into one place. What should a plus size teen wear to her senior ball or prom?

The answer is, anything that suits her. What does she want to wear? Something fashionable no doubt, being a teen, just like all the other kids. Mums sometimes get worried about their daughters being ‘shown up’, wearing spaghetti straps and showing off their arms which are not slim, or wearing things too tight. But girls don’t want to look stupid, they can be trusted to show off their best features. A bit of cleavage, a few curves, maybe a flash of stockinged leg, these things are not the domain of the string bean!

The last teen I made a prom dress for wore what she chose and it was perfect – a fitted bodice to just below the bustline, fitting to the waist and then flaring into a full length skirt. It had elbow length sleeves made of the same navy lace as the bodice was covered in, and a scooped neckline with a hint of cleavage. She wore her hair softly up with a tiara and I made her a little velvet bag. She looked like a princess, and she is a size 24.

I am not one for hard and fast rules but here are a few guidelines to help get you started:

  • Show off the bust without going too over board. Ruching, draped cups, high waistlines, deep V or sweetheart necklines all look great and larger girls have such delicious decolletage (shoulders and necks). Off the shoulder looks great if a suitable foundation (long line or strapless bra) can be found.
  • If the girl is self conscious about her arms (read the article called Body Fashion on that one!) then transparent fabrics and laces are wonderful as they are soft and sensual. If she is not let her wear what she likes.
  • Go long not short, if she has great legs put a split in it. Long dresses are far more elegant, and appropriate for these occasions.
  • Choose a colour that just looks fantastic with her complexion and hair. And make sure whatever this dress is, that it fits properly. Nothing is less flattering to any woman than a too tight or too baggy dress.
  • Comfortable shoes are important for every prom goer, they should be broken in first. Jewellery should be chosen once a hair style is established. Not all dresses suit a necklace and earrings, and on the whole an off the shoulder dress looks better with a softer hair do, not a severe, scraped flat one. Everything should be comfortable so she can forget about it and go dance all night, feeling restricted or restrained can just make a woman feel self conscious.

If you are the parent, aunt or friend of the teen, let her think for herself. Be matter of fact about practical things but let her have her say and trust that she is learning about her own style and even if she doesn’t ‘get it right’ in your eyes, in the long run she will have more confidence in her own taste. If she genuinely wants guidance then that’s different. These girls are stunning, beautiful goddesses in training and at such a vulnerable age, let’s work to ensure their self esteem remains intact and grows on into their adulthood :)

If you are a teen looking for something to wear, listen to your mum, aunt, friend etc. as if they love you and want only the best for you, not like they are trying to pick holes in your ideas. But in the end you should do what works for you, and only you can know that.

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